The poly-pad

the remarkably comfortable, simple, inexpensive
contoured polyfoam shoulder rest for violin or viola

“Secure, comfortable support with a
shoulder pad you almost don’t feel!”

July 22nd, 2023 was the


IMPORTANT NOTICE: A few online sellers have been offering "Players EVPM sponge pads
for violin and viola" for $3 or less. Some of these show two photos of "their" product:
the economy EVPM pad on the left, and the original model of the poly-pad on the right.
I'm being told that the name "poly-pad" is also being used for a pad of a different design.
Do not be deceived! If you order from these sellers, you will NOT be getting a poly-pad!

On the other hand, there are established, reputable music dealers who sell authentic poly-pads
at a price at or near the prices listed here, and you can purchase from them with confidence.

Please don’t confuse the poly-pad with other foam pads that might look similar.
None have the poly-pad’s unique shape that teachers praise as the best they’ve found.

Recent praise for the (real!) poly-pad:

"We LOVE your product. It's the only kind of sponge shoulder rest we carry
at our store because nothing else compares."
—Dealer in Wisconsin

"They are the answer to a violin teacher's prayer!"
—Violin Teacher in New Jersey

"I love the fit of the poly-pad! So much more comfortable than what I had been using."
—Violinist and Teacher in Virginia

"The pads are very, very comfortable. My 5 year old is loving it... My 9 year old
says it is the best and most comfortable shoulder rest/pad she ever tried."
—Parent in Texas

Download this 45-second poly-pad video!

Read the story of the poly-pad.

Why do people love the poly-pad? Because it is

• amazingly comfortable, practically weightless
• shaped to follow the slope and curve of the shoulder
• conducive to good posture and a relaxed instrument hold
• praised for relieving chronic neck and shoulder pain
• kind to your instrument and your body
• less likely than other rests to fall off while you play
• used and recommended by violinists and violists worldwide

The poly-pad is available in six sizes:

EXTRA-LARGE (3.7 x 7 in., 9.4 x 17.8 cm)
for players who feel they need a very high shoulder rest
(If considering this size, please read this advice first);
you may actually need a higher chin rest!

LARGE (3.2 x 7 in., 8.1 x 17.8 cm),
preferred by most adult players of full-size instruments;

MEDIUM (2.7 x 6.5 in., 6.9 x 16.5 cm),
for most players of 3/4 size violins and small violas;

SMALL (2.3 x 6 in., 5.8 x 15.2 cm),
used mostly by children playing 1/4 and 1/2 size violins;

EXTRA-SMALL (2 x 5 in., 5 x 12.7 cm),
for 1/8 and smaller size violins;

and the tiny LILY-PAD [XXS])
for 1/16 and “cherub” size violins.

NOTE: The first number is the maximum height, where the poly-pad rests on
the upper chest; the second number is the length from large to small end.


The size shoulder rest needed may depend more on
the size of the player than the size of the instrument.

Please see notice below about the fantástico discount
for first-time customers unsure which size(s) they need.

this chart (inches) or
this chart (metric).

The poly-pad is available in three colors:

• the traditional CHARCOAL GREY (all sizes)

• a slightly firmer COOL BLUE (all sizes)

HOT PINK (in M and smaller sizes only)

(Note: The GREY and PINK poly-pads are the SAME firmness.)



TO ORDER, simply e-mail,
providing name, address, contact information, and size(s) and color(s) desired.

NOTE: If you do not receive a reply from me within 24 hours, or if you receive
a message that your email to me could not be delivered, you may try emailing

You may pay 1) via PayPal to or 2) by check (U.S. customers).
You may also be able to purchase poly-pads from a string instrument dealer near you.
(If they're not on this list, let them know they could be!)

NEW PRICES (as of March 10, 2021)
$9.50 per pad ($5.00 per lily-pad) plus shipping*
If ordering 5 or more poly-pads, the price is reduced to
$9.00 per pad ($4.50 per lily-pad)
Read THIS for information regarding this price increase.
Price includes poly-pad, rubber-band net for securing pad to instrument,
and clearly illustrated instructions.

*Shipping: You will be notified by email of the actual shipping cost.
It is no longer possible to use a formula based on the number of items ordered.

If you are a FIRST-TIME retail customer not sure which size(s) you need,
you may qualify for the “fantástico!” discount offer:*
buy two poly-pads of two different sizes or colors
and get one of these at half price—plus shipping, or
buy three (or more) poly-pads of three different sizes or colors
and get two of these at half price—plus shipping.
*To take advantage of this offer, you MUST mention the word fantástico!
This offer can be used ONLY ONCE, for your FIRST EVER order of poly-pads.

NOTE: You may order as many pads as you wish, but the half-price offer applies to
a maximum of only two pads of different sizes or colors, each of which must be a
different size or color than a pad for which you are paying full price.

If you order five or more pads, the “full” price is reduced (see above), and the
“fantastico” price of a maximum of two pads will be half the reduced price.

Remember to include shipping (see above), and sales tax if you live in Iowa.

Here are photos showing ways to attach the rubber-band net to instruments of different sizes.
Here is a photo with instructions for how to tie a replacement rubber-band net for your poly-pad.
You can also download this video showing how to tie a rubber-band net yourself.
And here is advice for securing a poly-pad that slips.

Do you have a shaped case with no room for a shoulder rest?
Poly-pads that are repeatedly "squished" into a case will lose their shape.
You may want to buy a 7 1/2" x 10" drawstring bag that can be attached
to the case handle to hold your poly-pad. I NO LONGER SELL THESE,
but you can purchase them online directly from Oriental Trading:

Poly-pads are also sold by dealers throughout the United States as well as in
Australia, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, and South Africa.
For more information, contact Michael Kimber.

If you are a string instrument dealer interested in joining the ever-growing
number of poly-pad retailers please contact Michael Kimber.

Some ideas worth considering:

Read Practicing Comfort
for some thoughts on the importance of comfort when playing.

Read Some Thoughts on Shoulder Rests
for more thoughts about shoulder rests and instrument hold.

Highly recommended:, a web site that deals exclusively
with the proper fitting, positioning, and comfort of violin and viola chinrests!

Visit the artist in balance website
to learn about a research project involving violin and viola students at the
Utrecht Conservatory in the Netherlands that emphasizes the importance of
 • selecting appropriate chin rests and shoulder rests and
 • retraining cramped playing habits.

Please take a moment to have a look at Michael Kimber’s MUSIC.

RETURN to Michael Kimber’s Viola Homepage.

Updated November 9, 2023.